Word Study: Remember Me

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WORD STUDY – REMEMBER ME

Psalms 25:7b: “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’sake, O LORD.”

The Psalmist is using this word remember quite a bit. He is asking God to remember His tender mercies, then he is asking God to not remember his sins and transgressions finally he is asking God to not forget him but to remember him. Does God really forget, is He absent minded, does he need to be reminded by us that He is a merciful God.

Well, I mean there are over six billion people in this world and that is a lot of people to have to have to account for. I mean you can blame poor God if he happens to accidently overlook a few people, not his fault when there are so many to remember. It is up to us to keep reminding Him that we are around. Sounds foolish when you put it that way, but yet many people feel God has forgotten them.

Something we do not often think about is that remembrance involves time. Remembrance means looking into the past and trying to recall something. To remember we sometimes need to be reminded by someone or something. The problem with applying remembrance to God is that God does not live in time. Thus it is impossible to apply a time reference word to a timeless God. God cannot forget, for forgetting involves the passage of time and there is no past, present or future with God. Thus to apply the English word remembrance to zachar would create a great contradiction if we then apply that word to God.

When zachar is used in reference to God we need to find a better word than remembrance. Zachar really has the idea of setting up a monument or memorial. The idea of a memorial or monument is to cause us to reflect on the person or persons the monument wants us to remember. In that reflection of that person we consider what has made the person great and that should inspire us to follow that example. It may reflect courage, sacrifice, caring, giving or any number of attributes that we want our own lives to reflect.

Well, that works just fine when we ask God to not remember our sins and transgression. God may have full knowledge of our sins and transgressions but he does hold them up as a monument against us as a reminder to us of our past failures. In other words He does not make our past sins and transgressions into a monument for all to see.

Daniel 9:9: “To the Lord our God [belong] mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;” That word forgive in the Hebrew is chalach which in its Semitic root is a covering. He covers our sins and transgressions so they are not seen, they are not a part of God’s world any more. They do not influence God in anyway.

So all you need to do is ask Jesus to forgive your sins and He will chalach cover them with His blood. His blood will blot out any sins so that they have absolutely no bearing on the present and future course you take. They will never be brought to remembrance that is they will never be a monument that God can point at and say: “Well, look what you have done, I don’t know about answering your prayer after that?” If you ask Jesus to cover your sin with his blood, they will never stand in hindrance of God answering any prayer or extending any blessing to you that He wishes to extend. If you feel God has not answer a prayer or blessed you in some way, you can rest assured that if you have asked Him to forgive your sin or cover it, that the lack of answer to a prayer or a blessing has nothing to do with sin and has everything to do with your own good.

In fact look at the rest of this verse. The Psalmist is asking God to remember or zacar him for His goodness sake. The word for sake is ma’an which means purpose, intent or in order that. So the Psalmist is asking God to zacar him or make him a monument for the purpose of God’s goodness. The word goodness is tov which means to be in harmony with something or someone. What the Psalmist wants is to be a monument of someone who is in harmony with God.

That really expresses the heart of the Psalmist as it does for each of us. Our real goal and longing in life is to be a monument to the world of someone who is in harmony with God so that when they see us they will see the love and mercy of God. They will see God reflected in us.

I recall an old hymn we used to sing in church when I was a child. I Would Be Like Jesus. I would sing that song and it would truly be my hearts desires. My cry would not be “Remember me O God.” For God does not live in a world of forgetfulness or remembrance. My cry would have to be “Remember for O’God for thy goodness sake.” That is “Make my life a monument of someone who is in harmony with you just like Jesus.”